The business of acting to make a difference.
The future depends on what we do in the present. – Mahatma Gandhi
Yesterday, I republished a long essay from Bill McKibben under my title of Stop, read, reflect and Act! Bill’s essay was called Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math and terrifying the numbers are!
If you didn’t read it yesterday, I encourage you to do so as soon as you can. Why? Because the process of change cannot start until we truly want to change; a total emotional commitment. And the formation of those emotions, that realisation, requires a new understanding of the world around us, who we are and who we want to be. An outcome that is all part of being better informed, which is why the McKibben essay is so profoundly important.
Tomorrow, I want to explore that process of personal change.
But before then, let me go back and repeat some words in Bill’s essay that really jumped off the page and hit me between the eyes.
Writing of Germany, Bill said, “… on one sunny Saturday in late May, that northern-latitude nation generated nearly half its power from solar panels within its borders. That’s a small miracle – and it demonstrates that we have the technology to solve our problems. But we lack the will.”
We lack the will!!
Then in the next paragraph, Bill went on to write,
This record of failure means we know a lot about what strategies don’t work. Green groups, for instance, have spent a lot of time trying to change individual lifestyles: the iconic twisty light bulb has been installed by the millions, but so have a new generation of energy-sucking flatscreen TVs. Most of us are fundamentally ambivalent about going green: We like cheap flights to warm places, and we’re certainly not going to give them up if everyone else is still taking them. Since all of us are in some way the beneficiaries of cheap fossil fuel, tackling climate change has been like trying to build a movement against yourself – it’s as if the gay-rights movement had to be constructed entirely from evangelical preachers, or the abolition movement from slaveholders.
This is what hit me between the eyes, “the iconic twisty light bulb has been installed by the millions, but so have a new generation of energy-sucking flatscreen TVs.” That describes me to perfection. OK, we have installed solar panels as well but I admit to a significant degree of ambivalence! ” tackling climate change has been like trying to build a movement against yourself”
Let me remind you of Bill’s next paragraph,
People perceive – correctly – that their individual actions will not make a decisive difference in the atmospheric concentration of CO2; by 2010, a poll found that “while recycling is widespread in America and 73 percent of those polled are paying bills online in order to save paper,” only four percent had reduced their utility use and only three percent had purchased hybrid cars. Given a hundred years, you could conceivably change lifestyles enough to matter – but time is precisely what we lack.
So it comes down to change; change in a timely manner, to boot!
Let’s hold that until tomorrow and I will leave you with this: Put your future in good hands – your own.